vaalea (color of a car)

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Gavril, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hyvää viikonalkua,

    I'm not sure what color the word "vaalea" is referring to in this context (from today's Uusi Suomi):

    "He fled in the direction of Korso in a [light-colored?] station wagon, which had been parked in the lot at the end of the building."

    In describing a person's hair color, vaalea normally means "blond", but is there a color that vaalea would normally be understood to refer to in other contexts?

  2. Katogato Junior Member

    English - United States
    To the best of my knowledge, it would in fact mean just a "light colored" car; perhaps tan or off-white.
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    But there are a lot of "light" colors a car could be. If I was being told to look out for a getaway car (as in the context of this article), the term light-colored would be of limited help, unless there was a default color that I could assume "light" was referring to.

    Do you normally understand tan / off-white as the color referred to by "light"?
  4. Katogato Junior Member

    English - United States
    Personally, yes, but with a few qualifiers. That is just what came to my mind, but it could be different for another person. For me, a 'light' color means one that is very pale or faded out, and very few red, blue, or green cars meet this criteria; they are usually a bold shade. Some pink or yellow cars, but fairly few, are also pale.
  5. Spongiformi Senior Member

    Though your quote doesn't reveal it, but if we assume poor lighting conditions or nobody really paid attention during the incident, light or dark-coloured could be all you can get out of witnesses. As such it doesn't really mean anything more in Finnish than it does in English. So, I reckon it's a description born due to lack of knowledge, not by first choice.

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